Spreading the Mandela Day ethos through lots of action on Day Four!
Jozini: Without a lengthy journey ahead of them on Day Four, Bikers For Mandela Day were able to spend 67 minutes doing good at several projects in the Jozini area. In this, it was one of the most ambitious days for the expedition members when it came to spreading the Mandela Day ethos through action!
First stop was the Ubomo Community Care Centre in Jozini, which takes care of and feeds hundreds of local residents each day under the leadership of Mr. Dube. The presence of the super-charged IDC team and Board members at the community centre added to the spirits of the bikers and support team members. This invaluable organisation has provided food, donations and eager staff to Bikers For Mandela Day who set about helping at the four different work stations set up for the morning. These included chopping vegetables for the soup, cooking curry and rice, making sandwiches, and handing out tea and bread for the hungry children who had already arrived early in the morning.
As has been the case all along the route so far, the bikers approached their tasks with fervor, with some remarking they were now the "Master Chefs" of Jozini. The women in the community chuckled with delight as they watched DJ Fresh chopping (and chomping) the vegetables. Bok Van Blerk, meanwhile, proceeded to shoo everyone away from his community sized pot of stew, which he stirred with great love and affection – whilst having a heated debate with one of the community care workers on the merits of stock cubes as opposed to salt!
Zindzi and Bambata Mandela were also present, providing messages of support to the workers. A donation of blankets (Sesli Blankets), balls (Engen), chocolates (Cadbury), Oros (Coca-Cola), and a voucher from Spar was gratefully received by the community centre, alongside a large donation of food from the IDC. Indeed, an IDC board member declared that they had been “touched by Mandela” through the 67 minutes Bikers For Mandela Day had given at this stop-off.
To the sounds of children cheering, the group left for the next community project –the home of a young woman, Nokutule, who raises six children - two of her own and four of her siblings whom are all AIDS orphans.
Getting to her home proved difficult given the inhospitable terrain but it was clear on arrival that Nokutule desperately needed the help of Bikers For Mandela Day.
Her home has only one functional room with shattered windows and a broken roof. The team set to work immediately, humbled by Nokutule’s quiet gratitude when her home was painted and donations from the Jacaranda Good Morning Angels and other supporters were hand over.
In addition, Gert and Gerhard Van Wyk, two avid supporters of the bike trip, donated a Wendy House for Notukule and her family to use after an earlier inspection by the Van Wyk’s revealed that it was sorely needed. Nokutule could not hold back the tears when she received the donations, including a Spar voucher for food.
Whistling while they worked, the bikers painted, hammered, hosed and cleaned the house that Nokutule keeps together for the sake of her "children". For Zindzi Mandela, speaking to Nokutule and watching the bikers at work, it became clear that her father's legacy and spirit was actively being imparted by the bikers, and that his life's work had not been in vain.
Whilst the activity was taking place at Nokutule’s home, IDC staff member Sedrick Mojale and the ride's resident vet, Dr. Kobus VD. Merwe along with local community members treated cows with products provided by Bayer, providing the community farmers with education and brochures as well as cow-licks to keep their animals in good health - after winning the trust of the farmers.
Tomorrow the bikers again clock up over 300 kilometres, making real the slogan and theme of Mandela Day this year: making everyday a Mandela Day, taking action and inspiring change. What will you do?